“I was returning from a teachers’ convention. The man asked me, with an attitude, to put my seat up because he was eating. I did. I then reclined it again when he was finished. At that point, he started hammering away at me. That’s when I started videoing and tried to call the FA.”
The actual text which accompanied the video in the message that was posted on Twitter is as follows…
“Here’s a great jackhole! He was angry that I reclined my seat and punched it about 9 times – HARD, at which point I began videoing him, and he resigned to this behavior. The other jackhole is the @AmericanAir flight attendant who reprimanded me and offered him rum!”
…and so, the debate was on with which opinions were sharply divided: did wendi have a right to recline her seat whenever she felt like it? Did the man behind her have a right to be so angry as to act out his frustration and anger in a puerile manner? Should he have been grateful when she supposedly returned her seat to its upright position during meal time at his request?
“When the FA came. She rolled her eyes at me and said, ‘What?’ She then told him it was tight back there and gave him rum! She told me I had to delete the video! It’s against the law to video on a plane. I asked her name & She gave me a Passenger Disturbance Notice!”
Prior to the male passenger acting out his aggression in the video, wendi claimed that he “punched” the back of her seat “about 9 times – HARD” and called it “assault”…
“I was contacted via phone by @AmericanAir, they apologized but really didn’t accept any responsibility for the flight attendant’s actions. I will be calling the FBI to press charges against the ‘man’ who mistook me for a punching bag. Anyone who doesn’t like it, I don’t care!”
“TBC it was AA which told me to contact the FBI, bc they don’t care (I know you don’t care either, except you’re on Twitter talking about it). But you were clearly there, so do tell me more about my experience; I’m on the edge of my reclined seat!”
All of this chazerai over seat recline aboard an airplane.
The Source of the Seat Recline Problem?
Republic Airways is a regional carrier for American Airlines which actually operated the aircraft in question; and the flight was reportedly late by 30 minutes. Could that issue have contributed to this situation?
Perhaps the travails of everyday life — or some traumatic experience — happened to affect both passengers who were involved in this incident?
…which is why I never really understood the debate. Are we really talking about a huge difference? The seat recline is only a few inches at most, if that. Why are people so adamant about whether or not a seat is reclined to the point where they might believe that it is a “God-given right”?
A greater density of seats usually means less room for passengers — which means that as anemic as the angle of reclining a seat might be, every fraction of an inch matters regarding the threshold of comfort versus discomfort for a passenger…
…and once that threshold is crossed, some passengers tend to lose their civility and will lash out at just about anyone who disagrees with their point of view — especially when related to their comfort.
I do like to recline my seat — even if the additional comfort is only marginal at best…
The problem with the seat recline wars stems more from selfishness and self-importance — along with a lack of consideration and respect for fellow passengers — rather than from the issue of comfort, in my opinion. As with similar heated debates over armrests and children and window shades and swapping seats, passengers should be able to quickly work out a compromise without having to resort to confrontations to resolve what should be a simple minor issue at best. If passengers were more polite, considerate and respectful of each other, this whole debate over the recline of seats on commercial aircraft would be a minor issue at best — if at all.
In other words, I do not believe that either passenger was completely innocent in this incident — common sense and decency would have gone a long way towards avoiding it from happening in the first place — and perhaps neither the flight attendant nor other employees of American Airlines may have handled it in exactly the best way possible.
I have written extensively over the years pertaining to the seat recline debate aboard airplanes in the form of articles posted here at The Gate — including: